PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Starting on Tuesday, masks will be mandatory in Pennsylvania schools. The order, which was signed by Acting Health Secretary Alison Beam, will apply to all students, teachers, staff, and visitors aged 2 years or older.
Vaccination does not exempt anybody from wearing a mask.READ MORE: In-Person Classes To Resume Lindley Academy Charter School On Monday After COVID-19 Outbreak
This is something Gov. Tom Wolf’s administration wanted to avoid, but the sky-rocketing number of COVID-19 cases in Pennsylvania compelled the governor to take action.
“We have to act now to protect our students and our teachers, we need to put politics aside, we need to get back to what matters, keeping students safe and keeping students in the classroom,” Wolf said in August.
Initially, Wolf ruled out a statewide mask mandate for schools, hoping local school districts would act, but there hasn’t been unified support and protests have erupted among people against mask requirements.READ MORE: Eagles DE Bandon Graham Suffers Achilles Injury, Sources Tell Derrick Gunn
“So screw you and get it together, lady,” one parent said during that meeting a few weeks ago.
As of Monday, cases are still on the rise in Pennsylvania. The Commonwealth’s level of community transmission is also considered “high” by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.MORE NEWS: Missed Opportunities Contribute To Eagles 17-11 Loss To San Francisco 49ers
“Doing nothing right now to stop COVID that’s just not an option. Doing nothing is going to mean more sick kids, mean more days out of school, more grief, and more problems for our economy,” Wolf said.